If you have recently brought home a puppy, you must be in the perfect state of bliss right now. However, with such unending joy comes a lot of responsibilities as well. One such extremely crucial responsibility is vaccinating your dog. It is very important to properly vaccinate your puppy and administer the right vaccines at the right age. You must be racking your brains trying to find the perfect vaccinating schedule for your little furball. There are indeed many different kinds of vaccines that are administered to dogs. Some of these are crucial and necessary while others can be administered at a later age. That is why we have compiled a comprehensive vaccinating schedule for your puppy so that you do not get misled by complicated medical articles or duped by fraudulent veterinarians. First of all, let us see the two main kinds of vaccines that are administered to dogs.
The first kind of vaccines for dogs are known as core vaccines. Core vaccines are vaccines that are mandatorily required to be administered in your dog as a puppy. These are highly recommended by medical experts. Core vaccines offer your dog protection against harmful viruses that can harm your fur buddy’s internal organs or immune system. Most of the core vaccines have been made legally mandatory in the United States of America. These vaccines are primarily administered to prevent diseases such as rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus or more commonly known as canine hepatitis.
The second kind of dog vaccine is known as the non-core vaccines. These are mostly administered when a particular dog is at risk for a particular disease based on his lifestyle and the degree to which he has been exposed to the virus. The importance and requirement of non-core vaccines depend on the extent to which a dog has been exposed, the severity of the dog’s illness, and the disease’s transferability rate to human beings. The non-core vaccines are primarily for diseases like bordetella, parainfluenza, canine influenza, Lyme Disease, and intranasal adenovirus. Most of the non-core vaccines are bacterial in type. This means that their efficacy rates are lower compared to viral vaccines and there is a high chance of the vaccine adversely impacting the dog’s health.
How long do core vaccines last?
A lot of recent medical studies have shown that most of the core vaccines, that is, the vaccines administered in dogs to ward off viral diseases last for seven to fifteen years. However, in case your dog has been vaccinated at 16 weeks or above, chances are that they are protected against that specific disease for life and do not require any further vaccination. Your veterinarian may believe otherwise if they are strictly following the AAHA guidelines. But for a more holistic approach, it is best to not administer unnecessary vaccinations to your dog. They may be legally mandatory in your state, but practically saying that is just true for rabies.
How long do non-core vaccines last?
According to the AAHA guidelines, in most dogs, non-core vaccines last for nine months to a year. They are bacterial vaccines and thus, their efficacy rate is relatively low in comparison to viral, or core vaccines. However, it is highly recommended that you do not administer your dog with non-core vaccines unless the dog is at high risk for that specific ailment and it is necessary to do so. These vaccines, on account of being bacterial ones, tend to have a bunch of adverse effects on your dog if administered unnecessarily.
Why is vaccinating your dog so important?
Vaccines are said to be preventive rather than curative and they can protect your dog from several highly contagious diseases if and when they contract it in the future. Core vaccines can protect your dog from fatal diseases like parvovirus disease or respiratory tract infection that can cause serious breathing complications. They also protect your dog from diseases like rabies, that is highly transmissible to human beings.
Vaccines are created and developed under highly regulated circumstances, following a very strict safety protocol. They contain weakened or partial versions of a particular pathogen. These pathogens force the body’s immune system to develop antibodies. These antibodies help identify and fight foreign organisms that can potentially infect the dog’s insides or attack the immune system in the future. In other words, if your dog contracts the disease later, the immune system would identify and destroy the disease-causing organisms more effectively.
The effect of vaccines is only temporary and varies with each kind of vaccine. The effect declines after a point after which the dog needs to be vaccinated again. That is why revaccinating your dog at prescribed intervals is important. It reminds your dog’s immune system to continue to produce antibodies to fight organisms that enter your dog’s body and can potentially cause infections and other illnesses. There are antibody titers available at veterinary clinics. These are blood tests that determine the number of antibodies present in the body. They can help determine how much longer a dog can go without getting revaccinated. While these are no match for actual vaccination programs, they are a very effective reminder to revaccinate your dog on a particular schedule.
Scientists and veterinary experts across the globe have noted the more widespread use of vaccinations has prevented millions of deaths among dogs all across the world. Numerous diseases in the past were unheard of and thus, considered untreatable. But because of vaccinations, these diseases are rarely a concern for vets nowadays.
As has been mentioned earlier, vaccines are developed under highly supervised laboratories by extremely qualified professionals. They are safe and very effective in protecting your fur baby from deadly and contagious diseases in the future. They can even protect you from contagious and transmissible diseases like rabies. So, remember to vaccinate them on time according to their prescriptions and the AAHA guidelines if you want your puppy to live a long and healthy life.